Reading through the book of Malachi, I came across Malachi 1:6-11, and found 2 issues in this that I thought were interesting:
- The Priests were offering blind, sick, and injured animals to God as sacrifices to Him. The passage shows that God was ticked, but you’ve got to wonder about why they were doing it. I mean, they were disrespecting God, so they obviously had some issues with their faith and obedience to Him. But understand also, the burnt offerings (sacrifices) were also their food (hence God saying, “You place defiled food on My alter!”). So the priests were eating diseased or just bad meat, and KNEW it. That’s like preferring road-kill over a juicy steak. So they were sinning against God by short-changing Him with the sacrifices, and they were sinning against themselves, because they were eating the meat that was not fit for sacrifice or human consumption.
- God said, “Try offering them to your governor (or government)! Would he be pleased with you…accept you?” I’m sure there are a few topics on this, but the one that came to mind was tithing to God vs. taxes to the government.
Now, the government of whatever country you belong to demands x-amount of percentage from your income, but God requires only 10% of your income. How much do you give to each? The fact that so many churches today are struggling financially, I’m willing to bet (in fact, from serving in them, I know for a fact) that a big number of attenders/members don’t give their full 10%.
“But God tells us to obey our government and to pay our taxes.”
“Yes, but God also tells us to give 10% of your income. Why do you only obey God when He tells you to obey the government?”
I’m also willing to bet that we all give more money to the government, simply because they take it out of our checks each payday. But then when it comes to tithing…OK, let’s say you do give the full 10%. Do you take it from your net income, or the gross income?
Think about that for a moment.
God commands us to give 10% of our first-fruits. In today’s terms, that’d be 10% of our income BEFORE taxes (our gross income).
Isn’t God higher than the government? Isn’t God more important? Doesn’t God care more about you than the government? Then why tithe your NET income? What do you think would happen if you tried to pay your taxes to your government based on your Net income, after tithes? Do you think they’d be pleased with you? Do you think they’d accept that?
I’ve asked this before, and many will blame the economy. They say that if they tithe their gross income, then the government also takes out from their gross income, they won’t have much left over for the things they need, like food. But that’s just a cop-out, as well as a sign of lack of faith (or trust) in God. It’s like Pillar’s song, “you’re doing enough just to get by, thinking that you live the right life”. Plus, many who had told me this, soon went off and bought something they didn’t need (like a big-screen TV, or accessory for their car).
Look for a moment at the Crusades (everybody’s heard of them). It’s said that when they were baptized, they held their swords above the water so as to say that they give their lives to God (for protection, probably), but not their swords. Probably a means of suggesting justification for the blood they would soon shed or something (they obviously never read from the Old Testament). As Christians, we gave our LIVES to God through Jesus Christ. But if we don’t give to God what He demands (a mere 10% of the money that He gave us in the first place), then are we not holding our wallets above the water? You wouldn’t even have that job if it wasn’t for God. Do you now believe that God won’t provide for you what you need (and sometimes what you want) when you need it?
We don’t always realize how intertwined tithing is with worship, or that tithing actually is a part of it. You can give what’s expected, you can give more, or you can give less. Whether we’re talking about evangelism to our peers, prayer-time/personal time with God, or tithing, we can never out-give God. But we CAN short-change Him.